By Tom Giannini
(ROSSBURG, OH) When the schedule for the 2017 Sam Maxwell Truck Series was released last year, a lot of drivers circled July 11th. Some circled the date because they knew their dirt experience would pay off. Others circled it because they knew it would be an uphill struggle for them to compete on dirt for the first time. Eldora played host to the Fastlane Racing Dirt Derby at Eldora and it did not disappoint.
Bradley Cross was the favorite entering the event as the driver of the #30 has excelled in other ASRS sanctioned dirt events. Things got off to a fast start for him when he rocketed his truck to the pole. Danny Rodgers started on the outside pole followed by Devin Serra, Kris Titus and Richard Stallings.
Drivers and fans alike did not know what to expect coming into the 75 lap event. Was there going to be a lot of wrecks? How tight would the racing be? Would tempers be flaring or would everyone give a lot of room to their fellow competitors? The answers did not disappoint. The racing was very good, at times the drivers would enter a turn 4-wide and exit the turn cleanly. There were a few wrecks on the night and several trucks that made a lot of contact but for the most part the night was pretty clean by Eldora standards.
The incident counter would reveal only one driver that finished the night without having made contact and that driver was Brad Cross. He did not have to make contact as he was in clean air all night. Cross dominated the event leading all 75 laps en route to victory. Devin Serra had a strong run and ended up in 2nd. Richard Stallings, Kris Titus and Danny Rodgers all rounded out the top 5.
Points leader Sam Maxwell was involved in a wreck and was relegated to a 25th place finish. The new points leader is now race winner Brad Cross. Devin Serra now trails him by 11 points followed by Allan Young (-20), Sam Maxwell (-23) and Jim Foose (-24). The battle for the bubble is heating up. With only five races before the start of the Chase, drivers looking to break into the top 8 are running out of time.
The series will roll into Pocono next week. Make sure to tune into OCTV on Youtube and don’t miss any of the action!